SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) Syracuse Hancock International Airport has been seeing a nice bump in the amount of cargo activity the past several months.
The increase in cargo business is helping offset the drop in passenger traffic that Syracuse, like many airports, are seeing because of the pandemic.
In Syracuse, September saw the biggest increase in cargo traffic compared to the year before, according to the most up to date data.
Syracuse Regional Airport Authority Executive Director Jason Terreri says, “We started to dig into our numbers and we noticed that even since April when the pandemic started our numbers have consistently been going up and actually outpacing our 2019 numbers, which was really surprising.”
Even more surprising is that the biggest bump came in cargo being loaded on the aircraft in Syracuse and flown elsewhere. It’s a 30% increase Sept.2020 compared to Sept. 2019.
“It’s items being purchased from our area through e-commerce being loaded onto aircraft being flown elsewhere in the country as well as internationally,” Terreri tells NewsChannel 9.
The Syracuse Airport earns revenue every time a plane lands at the airport, airlines pay a fee to do it including cargo planes.
Companies like FedEx and UPS also lease warehouse space and parking spots, from the airport, revenue Terreri says that helps offset the drop in passenger traffic.
Syracuse is seeing some extra flights from shipping companies, and on some days even bigger planes to handle the capacity needs.
It’s all starting to constrain the cargo area at the Syracuse Airport which is why Terreri says they are looking at doing a full new cargo forecast. It will all be part of a master plan of a growth in infrastructure for cargo support.
“Right now we’re getting to that point where we’re limited, and given with Amazon coming in with the continued growth in our community we’re expecting cargo demand to increase and we want to be ahead of the curve,” Terreri tells NewsChannel 9.
He adds that growth could be expanding the current cargo footprint; the most urgent need is additional ramp space and possibly more warehousing.